3 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Travel the World — And 3 Reasons Not to


 In our current times, more people than ever are quitting their jobs.

Dubbed the “Great Resignation,” more employees than ever before have left their jobs in the last 1.5–2 years, and the reasons are manifold. The pandemic naturally played a part, but many workers simply started to discover alternatives to a conventional 9–5.

In the words of The Guardian,

“Most people were reflecting on their lives at the same time that work was causing them burnout, or they were really enjoying working from home.”

In this context, many people want to change jobs or take time off. Others are looking for a better work-life balance. And finally, an increasing number of people want to take advantage of remote working opportunities and travel full-time.

In short, more and more former employees are considering a digital nomad lifestyle — be it as freelancers, entrepreneurs, or remote employees.

But is this a good idea? In other words, should you quit your job and travel the world?

Having been a digital nomad for over three years now, I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum.

During my digital nomad roller coaster ride, I’ve often felt on top of the world. However, I’ve also had some of the darkest moments of my life.

On this basis, here are three reasons to quit your job and travel the world — and three reasons not to.

Why full-time travel is an incredible experience

I chose this lifestyle several years ago, and I’m not planning to go back. I believe that — for some people — choosing the path of freedom is the best decision ever. Here’s why.

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Reason #1: A year of travel will teach you more than five years of college

I spent five years at university and two years working endless hours in the finance sector. Both were crucial experiences, and both periods taught me a lot.

However, my first year of being a self-employed digital nomad provided more lessons than the two combined.

The simple truth is that if you decide to venture out into the world by yourself — and build a business at the same time, every day becomes a college exam.

You’ll have to use your skills daily, and there will be no alternative but to face your fears.

When you’re in college or a corporate job, you’re in a controlled environment. There is always someone to ask for guidance, and someone will correct your mistakes.

If you travel full-time while having to make money, all of that disappears. You’re on your own, so there is no choice but to learn and adapt quickly.

To sum up, you’ll be so far out of your comfort zone that you’ll experience education on steroids. You’ll learn more in a month than you did in the previous year — and that’s one of the primary reasons why traveling full-time is such a rewarding experience.

Reason #2: You can work remotely and take advantage of geo-arbitrage

In all honesty, traveling full-time — or changing location every three months is nowadays a lot less exotic than it used to be.

No matter if you’re an employee or an entrepreneur, you’ll probably have access to some kind of remote working arrangement.

What many people don’t realize, however, is how much geo-arbitrage can change your life.

Geo-arbitrage is a relatively modern term. LetsReachSuccess defines it as “relocating in order to take advantage of the lower costs of a city/country.

As such, geo-arbitrage allows you to increase your quality of life by moving to a cheaper location.

If you are from the US, Europe, or any other expensive region, you can get ahead financially by relocating to a location where your recurring costs are lower.

It’s not rocket science. I spent almost the entirety of 2021 in relatively affordable places: Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, Ukraine, and Mexico, among others.

Most of these places have decent standards of life for a small outlay. As such, I was able to save a lot more money to invest later.

In conclusion, geo-arbitrage allowed me to invest in markets — such as property and crypto — that a location-dependent job would have made impossible.

Reason #3: You’ll expand your network

While working in the finance sector, I hated networking events. It might be because I’m an introvert — or because I didn’t like connecting to people for purely professional purposes, but I never enjoyed it.

When I became a digital nomad, all of that changed. I met so many people from different professional backgrounds, cultures, and ideological spheres.

The connection was never purely professional because travel creates an additional layer.

In simple terms, you’ll connect both on a travel-related and a professional basis. And this two-fold connection helped me expand my network even though I am an introvert.

Without full-time travel, I would never have those connections, and my network today would be much smaller.

Why traveling the world is not for everyone

If you’re thinking about quitting your job and traveling the world, be aware that you might be chasing a mirage. Digital nomadism isn’t all beaches and margaritas, and it’s a far cry from what you see on Instagram.

Here are three reasons not to quit your job and travel the world.

Reason #1: 9–5 is much easier.

If you’re chasing an easy ride, stay in your 9–5.

You might be complaining about your boss, your limited vacation days, and your salary. Guess what: you’re sitting in a comfy office, and you have a steady paycheck. You don’t have to deal with border officials every few weeks, and you aren’t forced to speak foreign languages every day.

Those who simply want a bit more freedom without realizing the challenges of traveling full-time are in for a shock.

Being a digital nomad is difficult. Making money online is difficult. And traveling for months at a time is a lot more exhausting than facing an angry boss every now and then.

If you aren’t ready for the difficulties of full-time travel, don’t quit your job. Don’t throw away a career for a fantasy. Do it for the right reasons.

Reason #2: You’ll get lonely and lose your roots

Amid all the glamor of traveling to picturesque locations — and skipping the winters, there is a dark side to being a digital nomad. And that concerns loneliness and losing your feeling of “home.”

The more you travel, the less you’ll feel at home anywhere.

In that same vein, it will become more and more difficult to maintain ties to your hometown. Your social circle will move on with their lives, and they’ll always see you as kind of a rebel. Some will admire you, others might be jealous, and most will simply fail to understand your life choices.

In consequence, if you can’t deal with the concept of being an outsider, full-time travel is not for you.

Apart from that, loneliness is another factor. No matter if you’re in a relationship or if you have friends all over the world (both apply to me), you’ll still have days where you miss the routine of Friday evening drinks with long-term friends.

Reason #3: Without a plan, you’ll be back in a cubicle sooner than you think

Finally, the primary reason not to quit your job is that you might not have a plan.

I have seen it time and time again.

People quit their jobs with a YOLO mentality.

I’ll figure everything out on the road. I’ll sort my finances out over time. And most importantly, I don’t need to think about long-term travel strategies, taxes, and general planning.

In 99% of cases, people who think like that spend 6–12 months roaming around the globe, enjoying life, and then end up broke. And there is nothing wrong with that.

Those 6–12 months might be the best of their lives, and they’ll provide memorable stories for their grandchildren.

However, that kind of traveling has nothing to do with being a digital nomad. Gap years are incredible, but they’re just that: gap years.

To conclude, think long and hard about what you really want.

If you simply want to travel and enjoy life, don’t quit your job. Negotiate some kind of unpaid leave and go backpacking for a few months. Because if you don’t have a plan that will secure your long-term digital nomad lifestyle, you won’t last.

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